GUIDE FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE MASTER’S
THESIS/RECITAL DOCUMENT OR
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
REVISED: SPRING 2010
It is highly recommended that you bring a draft of your manuscript to the
Graduate School to ensure that you are complying with the guidelines set in
this handbook. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have
questions on the formatting, please contact the Graduate School at (210)
458-6409 or visit us on the 1604 campus in the Multidisciplinary Studies
GUIDELINES CHANGE DURING THE YEARS. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND
ADHERING TO THESE GUIDELINES AND NOT FOLLOWING A FORMER
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. Research Compliance…………………………………………….….…….2
III. Content/Formatting Requirements………………………………….……..3
IV. Writing Styles……………………………………………………….…….…4
V. Arrangement & Pagination............................................................…….4
VI. Page Numbering…………………………………………………………….5
VII. Manuscript Mechanics………………………………………………...……6
VIII. Tables, Figures and Other Illustrative Materials………………………....6
IX. Documentation of Sources…………………………………………………7
X. Use of Copyrighted Material……………………………………………….8
XI. Required Text for Published Material……………………………………..8
XII. Turning in Final Copies……………………………………………………..9
This guide is designed to help students present the results of their graduate studies and research
for completion of either the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation. The
manuscript is intended to demonstrate the student’s ability to conduct, document, and
communicate the results of independent research. While the content is left to the discretion of the
student and their Supervising Committee, format standards are established by the Graduate
RESEARCH PROJECTS CAN NOT BEGIN UNTIL ALL APPLICABLE COMPLIANCE APPROVALS
HAVE BEEN OBTAINED.
The University of Texas at San Antonio Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (ORIC )
reports to the Vice President for Research and provides oversight and support for the responsible
conduct of University research. This includes facilitating comprehensive regulatory guidance,
providing educational activities, monitoring compliance; and, the development, distribution and
implementation of written policies, procedures and standards of conduct that support adherence
to institutional policies and applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
ORIC areas of oversight and support include: the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the use of
human subjects in research, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the
use of animals in research, the Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBC/rDNA, IBC/Chemicals),
the Conflict of Interest Committee, ExportControl issues, Time and Effort Reporting and training in
the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
How it works:
Required Application forms needed for requesting permission to use humans, animals or any
other compliance related areas in your research must be completed. The completed forms are
submitted to the ORIC for review and approval. (Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for this process.)
Upon successful review, an official approval letter will be issued to you. A copy of this approval
letter must be attached to the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation
proposal when it is presented to the Graduate School.
Where to find the Application Forms:
o The Human Subjects application is currently located on the Research Integrity and
Compliance website: http://www.utsa.edu/oric/irb/.
o The application for use of Animals is currently located on the Research Integrity and
Compliance website: http://www.utsa.edu/oric/iacuc/.
o The Biosafety application is currently located on the Research Integrity and Compliance
website at: http://www.utsa.edu/oric/ibc/
NOTE: These forms must be placed in the appendix of the manuscript; they do not have to
The student has the option, subject to the approval to the student’s Supervising Committee, of
including as part of the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation the text of an
original paper or papers that have been or will be submitted to journals in the field.
The inclusion of manuscripts co-authored by the candidate is acceptable but the student is
required to make an explicit statement on who contributed to such work and to what extent. The
Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation must conform to all requirements
explained in this guide. In addition, the following requirements apply:
Any manuscript, containing journal papers, prepared in the manuscript format must include a
preface. That preface must contain the entire text of the two paragraphs which conclude the
manuscript format section of the guide (see Required Text for Published material section of this
guide). The preface may also include other material at the student’s option.
The Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation must be more than a mere
collection of manuscripts published or to be published. It must have an overall title; it may also
have subtitles. It must include a comprehensive abstract, a full introduction and literature review,
and final overall conclusion, which interprets the results of the research and describes the
contribution to the field. Where the student is not the sole author of a manuscript, the introductory
material to the chapter comprised by the manuscript must explicitly describe the student’s
contribution to the work and acknowledge the contributions of the other author(s) of the work.
Connecting texts, which provide logical bridges between different manuscripts, are necessary in
the interest of cohesion.
Additional material, including procedural and design data as well as descriptions of equipment,
must be included in sufficient detail to allow a clear and precise judgment to be made of the
importance and originality of the research reported. This is usually included in appendices.
Formatting Published Materials
The styles used in manuscripts previously published or submitted for publication may follow the
styles required by the journals; thus, styles may differ among parts of the Master’s Thesis/Recital
Document or Doctoral Dissertation. The pagination of the parts, however, must follow the
guidelines for the traditional Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation (see
Arrangement and Pagination section of this guide). The preliminary pages are the same as for the
traditional Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation. In most cases, the
manuscripts must be retyped to conform to the type size, margin, and legibility requirements of
the traditional Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation. However, in the rare
cases in which preprints and reprints of previously published papers meet those standards, they
may be included as chapters, duplicated clearly on acid-free archival paper (see paper section of
this guide). Pages of those chapters should be numbered consecutively with the rest of the
Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation. The original journal page numbers
should be deleted, and the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation page
numbers placed on the page in accordance with the traditional guidelines. Photographs or other
materials, which do not duplicate well from reprints, must be included in their original form.
Regardless of whether they are retyped or copied directly from the journal print, the first page of
the published chapters should have an asterisk (*) next to the title. When copies of papers
already published are used as separate chapters, connecting texts are mandatory and
supplementary explanatory material is almost always necessary.
In addition to adhering to the requirements explained in this guide, each student should consult
with the style manual that is normally used in their discipline. Should one not exist, please consult
with the most current edition of A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations
by Kate L. Turabian. A copy of this book is available in the Graduate School and in the UTSA
Library. Having decided upon the methods of research presentation and the mechanics of form,
the student should remember that accuracy and consistency are all-important matters. These
qualities make the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation usable research
tool for other readers.
ARRANGEMENT & PAGINATION
Below is the structure for the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation. Use the
template on our website to show correct formatting and spacing for the following pages: Signature
Page, Title Page, & Abstract.
Fly Page (not needed when submitting electronically): This is a blank page used for
protection in binding. This page is only needed when printing out the two required copies
for the library.
Signature Page (needed when submitting electronically but without signatures):
This sheet contains the approval signatures of the student’s committee members. The
two copies that are required to be printed for the library must have all original signatures.
Copyright Page (optional): Copyright protection automatically subsists from the time the
work is created in fixed form and immediately becomes the property of the author who
created it. Registration with the U.S. Copyright Office is not required to secure copyright.
It is a legal formality to place on the public record the basic factors of a particular
copyright. The notice of copyright appears as the sole item on the page immediately
following the signature page. The student’s name must appear as it is on file in the
Dedication Page (optional): The dedication is counted but the number is not printed on
the page. The dedication should be single spaced and printed in a 12 pt. font. The
student may italicize if they wish. The dedication should be anywhere from 7-10 lines
Title Page (required): The student’s name, as it is on file in the Registrar’s Office, must
appear here as it does on the copyright page and on the abstract. The date on this page
is the date of the conferral of the degree, NOT the date of the submission of the thesis.
Acknowledgments (required): At the end of this page the month and year the Master’s
Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation submitted to the Supervising
Committee should appear. This is the first page on which Roman numerals should
Abstract (required): The abstract should be a concise statement of the nature and
content of the manuscript, indicating its significance as a piece of research. It should be a
continuous summary, not disconnected notes nor an outline. It should be double-spaced,
and should not exceed 250 words. The candidate must make certain that the name
appearing on the abstract is the same as that on the copyright page and title page. The
name must be the same as that on file in the Registrar’s Office. The title of the abstract
must be the same as the title on the finished thesis.
Table of Contents (required): It is important that the table of contents accurately reflect
the outline and the organization of the manuscript. It should include the abstract,
acknowledgements, list of tables, list of figures, chapters of the text, appendices,
reference, and vita.
Text (required): The text should be divided into as many chapters or sections as
Appendices (optional): Materials which are peripheral but relevant to the main text of
the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation should be placed in
appendices. These may include such things as survey instruments, additional data,
computer printouts and programs, and details of a procedure or analysis. Appendix
material must meet the same requirements of margins, pagination, and paper quality as
the text itself. Reduction of materials to meet margin requirements is acceptable only if
the print remains clear and legible.
Bibliography (required): The bibliography should indicate materials actually used (and
the edition, if the one used is not the first); by this means, accuracy of quotation and
citation may be readily verified. Full references are required and the format must be
approved by the student’s committee.
Vita (required): Vita should be double-spaced and the first paragraph should be
indented five (5) spaces. The vita should be a brief biographical sketch of the writer,
including: date and place of birth; names of parents; schools and colleges attended;
degrees awarded; and any experience in teaching, business, industry, or military service
the writer may have. Please do not include any personal information such as addresses,
phone numbers or anything that the student would like to keep private.
1. Fly page-not counted
2. Signature page- not counted
3. Copyright (optional) - counted, number is not typed on the page.
4. Dedication (optional) - counted, number is not typed on the page.
5. Title page - counted, number is not typed on the page.
6. Acknowledgements - counted, number is typed on the page. The number is in lower
case Roman numerals.
7. Abstract- counted, number is typed on the page in lower case Roman numerals.
8. Table of contents- counted, number is typed on the page in lower case Roman
9. List of Tables, Figures, Abbreviations (optional)- counted, number(s) are typed on the
page in lower case Roman numerals (all of these should be numbered at the bottom of
10. Text- The body of the manuscript should begin with Arabic numerals and continue on this
way until the Vita section. Subheadings should be spaced according to your chosen style
11. Endnotes (optional)- page number is on the bottom of the page in Arabic numerals.
12. Appendices (optional)- page number is on the bottom of the page in Arabic numerals.
13. Bibliography/References/Works Cited- page number is on the bottom of the page in
14. Vita- This page has no number at all.
The manuscript is to be printed in black characters on one side of the paper only. The entire text
should be primarily produced using the same font (with the exception of tables, equations,
figures, and other special situations that have been approved by the Graduate School).
Conventional type faces, such as Times New Roman and Arial are acceptable. Students are to
use 12 point fonts within the body of the text. Fourteen point fonts are acceptable for headings
and titles. Emphasis in the text may be achieved by using an appropriate italic typeface, boldface,
or by underlining. Remove all hyperlinks that are in the text and in the bibliography. If the student
wishes to go beyond the set font sizes, they must consult with the Graduate School.
The finished document reflects the ability and character of its author. The final copy must be a
professional quality manuscript, correct in spelling and punctuation, and neat in format.
The Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation must be double-spaced or one
and a half spaced throughout with the exception of quotations, footnotes, and the bibliography.
The bibliography may be single-spaced within each entry, but must be double-spaced between
entries (see template for example) The table of contents, list of tables, list of figures, and lengthy
tables may also be single-spaced.
The left (binder’s) margin and the top margin must be at 1 ¼ inches, the right and bottom margins
at ¾ inch. All page numbers should be centered on the bottom, the page number should be ½
inch from the bottom edge of the page. These margins must conform throughout the
manuscript, including pages containing tables, figures, or other illustrative materials.
TABLES, FIGURES, & OTHER ILLUSTRATIVE MATERIALS
Printed Copies (please keep the following in mind when printing a hard copy)
Tables, figures, maps, and illustrations should be prepared to facilitate binding and
preservation, and to avoid awkwardness or unnecessary bulk. Oversized charts and
graphs may be reduced by the use of reduced photostats and photographs; however, this
reduction must not seriously degrade their readability or usefulness.
Folded material must be carefully prepared and placed so that it will not be cut by the
trimming at the bindery. Large tables or maps may also, at the discretion of the
Supervising Professor, be neatly folded and inserted in a pocket or envelope and placed
after all other materials, including the vita. When the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document
or Doctoral Dissertation bound, the envelope or pocket is mounted on the inside back
cover. Reference should be made in the list of tables, figures, maps, etc., to such
material, and the words “following vita” or “pocket” should be given in lieu of page
Pictures should be mounted on the specified paper with a permanent type cement (to be
dried under weight), a mounting cement, or dry mounting tissue. Rubber cement, white
glue, or mucilage is not acceptable. When a number of pictures are used throughout the
manuscript, it would be well to mount part of them at the top of the page and part at the
bottom to distribute the bulk. If slides are utilized they should be housed in polyester
(known commercially as Mylar) sleeves/holders.
Horizontal figures and tables must be positioned correctly: they will be bound at the top,
i.e., the top of the figures or table will be the left margin. Figure captions and table
headings should be placed in the same horizontal direction as the figure or table. Tables,
plates and figures should bear their identifying numbers on the pages upon which they
appear. A figure’s number is generally placed below it; tables and plates are numbered
above. If a table or figure requires more than one page, the second page should be
labeled “Table__(continued)” or “Figure__(continued)” at the top.
Pages containing illustrative materials should always bear a page number as well. Refer
to the “Arrangement and Pagination” section of the guide for instructions on numbering
DOCUMENTATION OF SOURCES
References- All manuscripts must have references. The “References” section contains a list of
texts explicitly cited in your manuscript. Follow your chosen style manual. Depending on your
chosen style, you may use footnotes, endnotes, or in-text parenthetical references that
correspond to a reference list at the back of your manuscript. Endnotes and footnotes may be
numbered either sequentially from the beginning to the end of the text, or within each chapter.
Bibliography- Any background materials not explicitly cited in the manuscript should be listed in
a separate “Bibliography,” following the same style manual used for the References.
Permission for Use of Previously Published Material
If any of the material in the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation has been
published, the student must obtain written permission from the copyright holder (typically the
publisher) giving the student authorization to use the material in the manuscript.
USE OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL
In ordinary practice, it is generally assumed that the quotation of a prose passage of
approximately 150 words or less in a work of scholarship or criticism does not require written
permission of the copyright owner (but, of course, must be in quotation marks with the proper
citation given). However, the area of “fair use” of copyrighted materials can be defined only by
court action, and existing precedents are insufficient to make an exact or strict definition of its
limits. The Chicago Manual of Style and other style manuals provide further discussion of “fair
Should the student decide that it is necessary to obtain permission from the copyright owner; the
usual procedure is to write the owner and obtain a written reply authorizing use of the material.
Ordinarily the only condition for use is that proper acknowledgment be made. If the student has
already published any portion of the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation
material, written authorization from the journal(s) must be obtained before the material is used.
Software owned by company or corporation is protected under U.S. law. It is illegal to use, in
whole or in part, any software, design and/or documentation in any activity, including research,
publications, university papers, assignments or theses, or theses without prior written permission
from the company or corporation.
REQUIRED TEXT FOR PUBLISHED MATERIAL
The following two paragraphs shall be cited in the acknowledgements of any Master’s
Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation which includes work that has been
“This Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation was produced in accordance
with guidelines which permit the inclusion as part of the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or
Doctoral Dissertation the text of an original paper, or papers, submitted for publication. The
Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation must still conform to all other
requirements explained in the “Guide for the Preparation of a Master’s Thesis/Recital Document
or Doctoral Dissertation at The University of Texas at San Antonio.” It must include a
comprehensive abstract, a full introduction and literature review, and a final overall conclusion.
Additional material (procedural and design data as well as descriptions of equipment) must be
provided in sufficient detail to allow a clear and precise judgment to be made of the importance
and originality of the research reported.
It is acceptable for this Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation to include as
chapters authentic copies of papers already published, provided these meet type size, margin,
and legibility requirements. In such cases, connecting texts, which provide logical bridges
between different manuscripts, are mandatory. Where the student is not the sole author of a
manuscript, the student is required to make an explicit statement in the introductory material to
that manuscript describing the student’s contribution to the work and acknowledging the
contribution of the other author(s). The signatures of the Supervising Committee which precede
all other material in the Master’s Thesis/Recital Document or Doctoral Dissertation attest to the
accuracy of this statement.”
TURNING IN FINAL COPIES
Students are required to turn in two hard copies, printed on cotton paper to the Graduate School
by the specified date each semester. Both copies will be held in the UTSA library and bound free
of charge to the student by the library. In addition to turning in two hard copies, the student is
also required to turn in one electronic copy of their manuscript via the ProQuest website. This is
to ensure that the student’s manuscripts are being published to the ProQuest database so that
their research can be shared. The Graduate School website has instructions on how to submit
All copies must be free from error and have no visible streaks or shadows that resulted from the
printing process. The student should also make certain that each copy of the manuscript is
properly collated and that no pages are missing or duplicated.
Students wishing to bind copies of their manuscript for their own personal use may do so by
taking their copies to local printing stores such as FedEx Kinkos. The ProQuest website also
allows students to purchase a hardbound copy of their manuscript if they wish. Please visit the
Graduate School website: www.graduateschool.utsa.edu for a listing of suggested binding
services and prices.
Please be sure to buy paper that is:
1. Plain white (some brands label their paper: bright white or stark white)
2. 100% cotton
3. Acid free
4. Paper weights 20# or 24#
Please consult with the Graduate School website: www.graduateschool.utsa.edu for a listing of
local retailers who carry the paper.
Measuring the thickness of the manuscript will determine whether the Master’s Thesis/Recital
Document or Doctoral Dissertation will be bound as more than one volume by the UTSA library.
Approximately 2 ½ inches of paper may be bound into one volume.